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Appeared on: Thursday, November 13, 2014
Eweat EW902 4K Android Media Player review


1. Features, specs

The number of media players running Android has been increased lately, bringing the the goodies of the Android platform to yout TV's screen. Chinese Eweat has recently released the EW902 player, which looks like the perfect Android TV Box right after you read its impressive features and specifications.

Based on the Realtek's 1195 chipset, the EW902 is advertised as a 4K+3D+HDMI IN+USB3.0+1000M Ethernet+SATA Realtek 1195 Android Media Player. It decodes almost all video and audio formats, giving you the power to transform your living room into a real 4k / 3D Home Theater. in addition, it has the XBMC preinstalled.

Lets see some of its main features:

  1. Realtek 1195 chipset, 1G RAM, 8G EMMC;
  2. Powered by Android 4.4 kitkat;
  3. Support H.265 4K*2K
  4. HDMI in + HDMI out
  5. LAN : 10/100M/1000M Ethernet, build in WIFI and external antenna for stable internet receiving
  6. Can play original BD disc, Support BDMV full navigation
  7. Support Frame Packaging 3D, 2D movie convert to 3D image;
  8. Support USB 3.0 Host
  9. Support BD ISO playback
  10. Miracast and Intel Wireless Display;
  11. XBMC Perfect support 4K working;
  12. Support 7.1 pass through, Support Dolby True HD,DTS-HD MA,LPCM,Dolby Digital Plus;

As we can see the RealTek 1195 platform packs some impressive features, such as the support of the newest H.265 specs, HDM IN in+out, 1Gbit Ethernet, USB3.0 and XBMC support up to 4K!

- Specifications

Hardware
CPU: Realtek 1195 chipset
DDR: 1G DDR              
Flash: 8G EMMC           
Freq: 1.1GHz    

Interface
Video Output: HDMI 1.4B
Wireless: 802.11  b/g/n
Composite Audio/Video: AV output and Optical output
SATA port: 3.5" SATA port
LAN: 10/100M/1000 Ethernet 
USB 2.0: 2.0 host *2 USB
USB 3.0: USB3.0 host
HDMI port: HDMI IN +HDMI OUT
SD / MMC Card reader
Power: 12V/2A power adaptor

Android system
Android Version: Android 4.4 kitkat
File System: Fat16 / Fat32 / exFAT/NTFS/HFS+/Samba/ext2/3
MenuLanguage: Multi-language (English/German/Spanish/France/Italia/Nederland/Poland/Russia/Korean/Greek/ Japanese/Simplified Chinese/Chinese-traditional)
System Upgrade: Upgrade by USB DISK
Video Streaming: HTTP, RTSP

Video Decode:
H.265 /HEVC 4K*2K(MP@L5.0 High Tier)
MPEG1,VCD1.0/2.0,SVCD( up to1920*1080@30P/60I or 1280*720@60P)
HD MPEG2 MP/HL,ISO,IFO,VOB,TS(up to1920*1080@30P/60I or 1280*720@60P)
HD MPEG4 SP/ASP,Xvid(up to1920*1080@30P/60I or 1280*720@60P)
H.263(Profile0/3@L70 1080@60P )
H.264 BP,MP,HP@L4.2, H.264 MVC SHP (maximum 720@30P)
MV9,VC-1 AP@L3( up to 1920*1080@30P/60I or 1280*720@60P)
DivX3/4/5( up to1920*1080@30P/60I or 1280*720@60P)
XVID SD/HD( up to 1920*1080@30P/60I or 1280*720@60P)
RM/RMVB8/9/10( up to 1280*720@30P)
AVS: Jizhum profile @ level 2.0/  4.0/  4.2/  6.0/  6.2

Video Container
MPEG1/2/4Elementary (M1V, M2V, M4V)
RM/RMVB
MPEG1/2 PS (M2P, MPG)
MPEG2 Transport Stream (TS, TP, TRP, M2T, M2TS, MTS)
VOB, AVI, ASF, WMV, Matroska (MKV)
MOV (H.264), MP4, RMP4
DVD-ISO,BD-ISO
FLV, swf/(.swf), 3GP/.3gp
AVS/(.avs)
3D Bluray(DISC/ISO) or Single-File(*.ts/*.m2ts)

Audio Decode
MPEGⅠLayer1/2/3(2-CH)  and  MPEGⅡ1/2(Multi-Channel)
LPCM,ADPCM,FLAC,AAC,ALAC,AMR,WAV,WMA,WMA pro,OGG,AMR,APE
DTS digital+stereo
Dolby Digital
RA-cook/RA-Lossless

Audio Container
aac,mp4,m4a
MPEG audio (mp1, mp2, mp3, mpa)
wav, wma,asf, ogg
ape, flac, amr,3ga
ra, rm, rmvb,ram

Picture Formats
JPEG ,BMP, PNG, GIF, TIFF, Webp(Android)

Subtitle Formats
MicroDVD [.sub]
SubRip [.srt]
Sub Station Alpha [.ssa]
Sami [.smi]
VobSub[.idx+.sub]
Advance SubStation Alpha[.ass]

Subtitle Language
Standard version: simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Turkish, Greek, Hebrew, Czech, SE European, Central European, Cyrillic, Western, UTF8

HDD format
Support FAT32, NTFS, EXT3, EXT4,HFS


2. Unpackaging

The Eweat EW902 retails online for just $65. Below you see the package you'll get if you decide to get your hands on the player; it includes logos related to the product's main features.

The package includes the following:

 

As it happens with most products at this category, an HDMI has been included, along with analog composite video/stereo audio cables :). No 2x AAA batteries for the remote control inside.

Let's move on to the main device. As you see below, its compact (170 x 115 x 24.5 mm) and weigh around 1kg. The black-colored aluminum case looks and feels solid.

The front includes the Eweat logo, which lights up to blue when the player is on. It is actually operates as the device's IR receiver as well..

An SD/MMC slot, the reset pinhole and a USB3.0 port are located on the right side:

The right side is features two USB2.0 ports and an external SATA interface! Eweat has bundled a 2.5" SATA cable with the device.

The bottom side has ventilation holes positioned to form the EWT logo. The device has no internal fans so it is totally silent during operation.

The rear side is covered by the essential DC input, an optical audio output, the RJ45 1Gbit LAN connector, an HDMI 1.4b output, an HDMI-in and an analogue audio/video output for those who still own older TV sets (if any).

The choice of HDMI 1.4b and not HDMI 2.0 means that the player won't delivering the very best quality 3D Bluray ISO and BDMV ISO or 4K playback at 60fps, but don't forget that we are dealing with a $65 player here.

The player has two external antennas that can be rotated and supports the802.11 b/g/n wireless protocols.

The remote control has a typical layout for such devices, with a four way pad that can be used to navigate. It may take sometime to get yourself familiar with but most users will probably have an AIR mouse that works better with Android devices and adds convenience.


3. Menu, settings

The Eweat EW902 runs on the Android 4.4.2 Kitkat operating system.

The device takes some time to boot up and display the interface, which look since although typical for media players. The left window is the HDMI input screen , and settings related to the internal audio/video player, the program area and the miracast screen are on the right. With the latest firmware installed, the player runs at 1280x720p.

You have full access to the Android market and update or install new apps:

As you see below we have installed several Android applications. You can navigate across them by using either the remote's four way button or with the cursor mode. In order to place icons on the main desktop you have to press the menu button on each app and select to send it to the desktop through the menu.

The settings area is illustrated below and should be familiar to Android users:

The OSD languages include simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, English, Russian, Spanish, Czech,Dutch, Italian, French, German, Turkish, Hebrew and Greek. Since Android natively supports all the currently spoken languages, we feel that the EW902 could offer complete language support as well.

You can set the TV system to "Auto" and let the player select the video output. With not any 4K TV connected, the TV system menu will offer the choices you see below: 480p, 720p 50 Hz /60Hz, 1080i 50Hz/ 60 Hz, 1080p 50 Hz/ 60 Hz.

When we launched a movie it automatically set it to 1080p 24Hz. When the movie was finished the TV went back automatically to 1080p 60 Hz.

The device also supports also CEC in order to control it by using your TV's remote:

The "About" menu displays information about the Android version, your network (IP addresses), and also possible available updates (OTA):

Firmware upgrades are possible via a USB stick and it takes around 2 minutes to complete. Everything you have installed will be lost following an update so make sure to backup all installed software prior to it.


4. Video, transfer rate benchmarks

We are ready to run some benchmarks now.

The latest RealTek 1195 chipset is a dual -core ARM Cortex-A7 processor running at 349MHz~1.10GHz and also packs a Mali-400MP GPU. The player has 1GB of RAM onboard and offers 8GB of storage, from which the 2GB are occupied by the operating system.What's left for you is 6GB of free space:

The player has also root access although the SuperSU library could not be installed:

For our tests we used the AnTuTu v5.1.5, which that gave a "Not too bad" score of 11191 points:

Below you see some additional 3DMark scores related to the player's 3D capabilities ( IceStorm tests):

The popular quadrant benchmark doesn't show the names of the tested devices so we cannot be sure which one is our device:

Moving on to video tests, the EW902 scored 566 points at the AnTutu Video Benchmark v2.2 with an earlier firmware installed (1080p internal resolution):

Updating the player to its latest firmware boosted the score to 638 (with 1280x720p internal resolution)

Gathering all the benchmark scoring we have the following:

Benchmark
Score
AnTutu 5.1.5 (Pics 1, 2)
11941
AnTutu Video Benchmark (720p) (Pics 1, 2)
638
AnTutu Video Benchmark (1080p)
566
3D Mark IceStorm
2383
3D Mark IceStorm Extreme
1551
3D Mark IceStorm Unlimited
2253
GeekBench 3 (Single Core)
316
GeekBench 3 (Multi-Core)
560
BaseMark OS II
Won't run
BaseMark X
Won't run
GFXBench
Won't run
Quadrant benchmark
Not properly displaying results

Let's move on to some equally important read/write tests. The following read/write speeds were measured using a 716MB file and external sources through the ES File Explorer:

Source
Reading from Internal Storage (MB/sec)
Writing To Internal Storage (MB/sec)
USB2.0 (at USB2.0 port)
21.06
23.10
USB3.0 (at USB3.0 port)
27.54
23.87
1Gbit LAN
3.00
18.84
external SATA
22.38
22.38
external SD
7.38
8.52
Wifi (n)
0.17
5.87

The best results came when we connected an external source through a USB 3.0 port. Reading hit the 27.5 MB/s and writing was almost 24 MB/s. The external SATA also gave some good speeds at about 22 MB/s, but the USB2.0 port also performed well.

Regarding the network speeds, you can see a huge difference between the Gbit LAN port and the Wifi. While writing to the player's internal memory seems to work well, reading back files from it is significantly slower, especially when we used a Wifi module. That's not a big issue, since the media player is mostly used as a player, meaning we are mainly concerned about the input traffic. The SDHC port also gives adequate read/write speeds keeping in mind that it is mainly used to see/transfer images.

Finally, we noticed that when many of the above devices were connected to the player at the same time, the eSATA and USB3.0 didn't play nicely together as we were getting "lost device" errors. We assume that the eSATA and USB3.0 draws more power from the player's board so keep in mind to jack them one a time.


5. Video, audio playback, subtitles

We are proceeding to the most interesting part, which is the player's video playback performance.

We connected the player via an HDMI cable to a Yamaha RX-775 AV 3D receiver. The AV receiver was connected to a Panasonic 50S20 Plasma TV.

Unfortunately the specific TV doesn't have any 3D capabilities so we were unable to test the player's 3D features. But be rest assured that the player's 3D Bluray ISO playback is flawless using the player's internal media player (EWEAT Rtkplayer) or via XBMC. It also supports 2D/3D conversion

The player is advertised as 4K-capable and we expect to playback all the 4K files that currently exist out there. As we previously mentioned, the player has included its own EWEAT Rtkplayer media player, which has been optimized for Realtek chipsets. Of course you are free to download and use other media players as well from the Android market, such as the MX Player, which however does not support hardware acceleration.

Getting into the menus, you can have preview of the files and automatically playback them, like the DD/DTS files we tested below:

We set the HDMI Audio menu to "Auto" and most of the above files were audible and reached our speakers. However, in order to get sound from the Dolby Digital + files we had to set the Audio to "RAW" (with the latest firmware the DD+ files won't get audio out either with Auto/Raw).

All the other files were playable, including Mp3/Flac audio files.

For our video playback tests we used a local HDD with all the test files stored (the player supports FAT32, NTFS, EXT3, EXT4 and HFS) and the results were the following:

Video Format
Results
bird90.m2ts, bird90.mkv Playback was perfect
Jellyfish-120-Mbps.mkv Playback was perfect
Jurassic Park 1 1993 1080p DTS-HD MA 5.1-HighCode (H264 file) Playback was perfect
4K H264 files (either clips from Youtube or test files from companies) Sound is present but playback is not smooth, kind of slowed down to 0.8x
720p HEVC H265 file Playback was perfect
720p, 1080p, 4K HEVC H265 file from Elecard Player doesn't recognize at all the files
4KHD_VP9TestFootage.mkv VP9 encoded file causes player to reset
DivX 5, DivXHD files Not playable at all
WMV HD files Video playback is perfect, no sound
ClipHD_sorensen.mov Player doesn't recognize the file
Xvid avi files Playback was perfect
BD-ROM ISO Only the main movie was playable, not the menus
DVD-ROM ISO Everything worked great, menus and playback
Motion tests The player automatically sets 1080p 60Hz to 1080p 24Hz with the default player. The Motion bar tests were acceptable, at the 23.976Hz tests the top motion bar had a rather flickable image but playback was ok

So the majority of the currently available files are playable from a local HDD without any problems. 4K H.264/H.265 files are a no go situation and this has to be improved. Playback of H.265 video clips downloaded from Internet was also problematic, and the issue should be ironed out possibly through a firmware upgrade.

The VP9 codec is not supported (not a big deal), and the DivX files were not playable as well. Last but not least, the WMV video files didn't have any sound (either with auto/raw HDMI audio setting) and the .mov files were not playable at all using the internal media player.

Let's now see some usability aspects of the player. During playback, you have some options to choose by pressing the right button aof the player's remote control. You can adjust subtitles, audio tracks and aspect ratio:

Under the subtitles sub-menu you can select a language -- simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Turkish, Greek, Hebrew, Czech, SE European, Central European, Cyrillic, Western, UTF8 . You can also select offset, size and other various aspects.

Under the Audio menu you can see the currently available sound tracks:

At the aspect ratio menu you can set the "Full" or "Fit "options. By default, the player automatically resizes every files that are not 16x9 (Full), but you can also set it manually to "Fit" in order to look better and not "stretched".

Pressing the "info" button provides information about the file currently played. The "right/left >>" button will skip the movie accordingly by around 10seconds of playback time.

According to the player's specs, it supports all possible types of subtitles:: MicroDVD [.sub], SubRip [.srt], Sub Station Alpha [.ssa], Sami [.smi], VobSub[.idx+.sub] and Advance SubStation Alpha[.ass].

The default media player will display the subtitles at the bottom of your screen, and you can also set an offset to push them upwards. You are also free to select the color and text encoding options. However we would like them to look bolder, like the subtitles supported by the MX Player:

Non-latin characters such as the "stiff" Greek are also supported but only when they are encoded using UTF8 but still, the " ς" symbol is not displayed at all, along with some greek language symbols with intonations. However all those issues can be overcome if you choose another video player like the MX Player.


6. XBMC, Miracast

The player is advertised as XBMC compatible and EWeat offers at their website the XBMC.apk, which is optimized for the Realtek hardware. After the quick installation you will get the usual XBMC environment:

As we can see the XBMC is based at the 14.0 build compiled on Oct 2nd, now officially renamed as Kodi:

While most of the functions work, we noticed that the SMB network folders could not be accessed and we were getting messages such as "the Video cannot be played." The same files were playable through a local HDDs. We also noticed that the playback was not done internally by the XBMC engine but from the system video player, which should explain why the SMB network folders doesn't work.

For that reason we also installed the latest Kodi 14.0 beta1 build. We noticed that playback was very good, although it lacked two important features: 24Hz playback mode and the ability to bypass output surround sound (DTS, DD). This means that you are stuck with the two-channel downmix internal engine. The H.264 playback was near perfect, but the H.265 playback even with 720p files was rather jerky.

We don't recommend trying the older 13.xx builds since the playback was jerky even with H.264 files.

Since the player is based on the Android OS, it supports screen mirroring via the Miracast protocol. The function works well, although we noticed some lag when we used an LG G3 mobile phone and the EW902 player. It seems that Miracast can handle most video clips but it is not fast enough for real-time gaming.


7. Final thoughts

The Eweat EW902 is a 4K+3D+HDMI IN+USB3.0+1000M Ethernet+SATA Realtek 1195 Android Media Player. It supports and decodes almost all media formats (video & audio), giving users the freedom to have also XBMC pre installed and enjoy all its features.

The player comes in a complete retail package that includes everything you need to start using it. Its black aluminum structure looks solid, and the two wifi antennas provide a good reception. The device runs on an Android 4.4.0 skin customized by Eweat. Of course you can also your own launcher. The latest build packs root abilities for you if you feel experienced enough and want something more from the player.

The video playback capabilities are generally good. The player handles most currently available files without any issues. However, 4K H.264 /H.265 video files result in a jerky playback. The internal media player works very well and outputs most files at 24Hz, resulting in a smooth overall playback. There are some issues with subs however, which can be solved by using other player (like MX Player). But the trade-off in that case would be some possible playback issues with high rated files, since the MX player doesn't fully utilize the RealTek's hardware acceleration.

The XBMC is a must for most users, but the Eweat's implementation is not completely flawless. The official Kodi 14.0 beta 1 works very well so you's better use this instead. However it doesn't output 24Hz and sound is limited at 2channels downmix. We hope that Realtek will release sources and give the Kodi project the boost it needs.

The player provides many inputs to work with. The HDMI-in is a plus and works great. However no recording capabilities are present. It can also playback 3D movies (Frame Packaging 3D, 2D movie convert to 3D image), which according to users reports work just fine.

To sum up, the Eweat EW902 is good, feature-packed media player but it still needs some more more work and polishing in order to become great. Considering its recent launch and the frequent firmware releases by Eweat so far, we hope that the Chinese company will eventually deliver a complete product.

Priced at $50-60, this player is recommenced, provided that you realize what you are getting from an Android TV box.

Positive

Cons



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